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c;10                            SPINELESS   HEDGEHOGS                           CH
The under surface of the tail is rough, and it is thought
Dr. Blanford that it may be of use to the animal in climbi
Its compressed terminal third and the fringe of stiff bristles
the under surface of this indicate, according to Dr. Bobs
powers of swimming, or at any rate a not very remote ances
of swimming creatures. It is purely insectivorous in diet.
Erinac&us, including the Hedgehogs, is a widely distribu
genus—Palaearctic, Oriental, and Ethiopian in range. There
about twenty species. The familiar spines distinguish the Hed
hogs from their allies, as also the fact that they possess but thir
six teeth, the formula being I -| C -J- Prn f M -f. There are fift«
or fourteen ribs, and the tail is very short, consisting of o
twelve vertebrae. As in Gymnura there is no caecum. The up
canine has usually, as in other Erinaceidae, two roots, but not
JS1 europaeus, which is one of the most modified of Hedgehogs,
The Hedgehog is a more omnivorous creature than Gymni
It eats not only insects and slugs, but also chickens and yoi
game birds, and lastly vipers. Four, or in some cases as m:
as five or six, young are produced at a birth; they are bl
with soft and flexible white spines. In hot and dry weal
Hedgehogs disappear; they come forth in rainy weather. '
English Hedgehog, as is well known, hibernates. The Ind
species do not. The Hedgehog is occasionally spineless, wt
condition may be regarded as an atavistic reversion.1
The Hedgehog has acquired the reputation of carrying off ap1
transfixed upon its spines. Blumenbach thus quaintly descr
this and other habits of the animal, whose English name he g:
as " hedgidog '*: " II se nourrit des productions des deux reg
organises, miauie comme un chat, et peut avaler une quan
e"norme de mouches cantharides. II est certain qu'il pique
fruits avec les e*pines de son dos, et les porte ainsi dans
terrier."2
The Miocene JPalaeoerinaceus is so little different f
Erinaceus that it is really hardly generically separa
JSrinaceuA is therefore clearly one of the oldest living gei
of mammals.
Necrogymnura, of the same epoch and the same beds (Qm
phosphorites) is doubtless an ancestral form. The palate
1 See tfatitral Science, xiii. 1898, p. 156.
st. Ned.    French trans, by Artaud, 1803.